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Old 03-26-2008, 07:58 AM   #1
Thomas Grotrian
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Default NYC Tartan Day

Just wondered who was going to be there this year?
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:02 AM   #2
Bill Gority
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Default Re: NYC Tartan Day

Wish I could, but other obligations are keeping me away this year..........
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: NYC Tartan Day

I hope its better than last year.

Few bands in attendance, mainly locals and a few bewildered Canadian bands (where is everyone?)

Also, those "in charge" of the event were making embarrassing, bombastic (and largely incorrect) pronouncements over a loudspeaker regarding Scotland and Scottish history (accompanied by one of those hairy, oddly-dressed, hopping about, drum-beating, non-tuned "celt-tack" bands).

One announcer, who sounded suspiciously "in his cups" started making ludicrous statements paraphrasing lines from "Braveheart" and "The 13th Warrior." The whole thing gave me that uncomfortable feeling of being at a poorly planned, amateurish "scottish games."

After the pipe bands shuffled through, the event became progressively cringe-worthy. They had "scottish dancing" done with no music whatsoever (they couldn't find a piper??). Then the representative from the Scottish Parliament was invited to speak while the dancers were still hard at it. He quite rightly demurred, saying he preferred to wait until the dancers finished their (oddly silent) performance.

The only redeeming aspect of the abysmal event was the Scottish folk band "Scotcha," who gamely sang a few well-received songs at the end of the event.

No one from my band is going this year - even though we are 50 minutes away from the City. The real shame is that the event gets a decent crowd (hard not to in NYC), but the organizers, in my opinion, need to get their act together and stop embarrassing themselves.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:05 PM   #4
Phil Lenihan
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Default Re: NYC Tartan Day

Disappointed last year. I looked up the tunes for my group (Option 3) and learned them, which we never played. When I arrived with a band mate there was no group. We were told to find a band and join them. We found a delightful "family" band from Long Island and played Irish tunes up Sixth Avenue.

It was fun marching up sixth Avenue, I'm from New York, and it was fun to play a few tunes at the end with a youth band from Scotland. Other than that I was rather unimpressed.

Cheers! PHIL
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: NYC Tartan Day

Haha - well I hope someone will be there, I'm looking forward to a weekend in the big city and raising a few jars in the St Andrews, even if the piping is not the best. I'm still provincial enough to love marching up 6th Avenue.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:19 PM   #6
Kenton Adler
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Default Re: NYC Tartan Day


Not this year, but there is talk of Lyon going back again next year. We had a blast when we did the trip four years ago. We played the parade Saturday, and a Friday night performance at the Caledonian Club of NY that was just capital.

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: NYC Tartan Day

I have to agree with the comments above. Many of the NY based bands avoid this event like the plague. It's full of schlock and poorly organized. Plus the insanity of having a parade in the rainiest and windiest month of the year in NYC and scheduled right after everyone has had their fill of parades from the St. Patrick's Day season.
I've read that the Scottish government has found the expense of Tartan Week in NY to be a wasteful boondoggle that does little to boost tourism.
It also seems that the event has become more of a travel junket for the organizers. It's time to rethink the whole concept.
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: NYC Tartan Day

As a transplanted Scot who lives in the area, I look forward to Tartan Day in NYC all year. I realize that this is not the biggest or best parade in the area but it's up to us to support the event and ensure that it grows. After surviving the month of March in good cheer when everyone and their cousin is wearing green, I can't wait to fly a saltire from my bass drone and proudly march up the Avenue with whichever band sees fit to take me.

There is no doubt that the event has been poorly advertised and has left a bit to be desired in terms of organization but for all it's faults, it really has been a fun day for me, my family and friends. When my Mum and Dad are practically up on a table, dancing and singing their hearts out to great bands like Scocha, it really makes the day something special and I for one will support it wholeheartedly.

For those of you who have been burned and choose to stay away, I can't fault you but I would ask that you think about giving it a second chance. For those of you who are coming to NYC, let's make this a great day. No doubt we'll have crappy weather, no organized place to get a drink at the end of the parade route (although they say this is in the works!!) and every tourist in NYC asking us if it's still "St. Patty's Day" but what the hell - it's TARTAN DAY IN NYC so let's have fun.

By the way, for any pipers or drummers who are in the area the night before the parade, the NY Tartan Army is hosting the third annual Scotland vs Scotland football match at Pier 40, West Houston and West Street (on the lower west side). The game starts at 8:00pm but everyone will be meeting at a local watering hole (place TBD) around 7:30pm where we will pipe the teams to the field. It may be the only time you're guaranteed to see Scotland get a good result so that should be worth something right there. If anyone is interested in playing (pipes or football), email the TA at tartanweekfootball@comcast.net

Thanks for letting me ramble and C'mon Scotland!!!
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: NYC Tartan Day

As a transplanted Clevelander living in NYC for many years, I can list for you several major problems that have hobbled this event from it's inception.

1. The Parade Route
It makes little sense to try and imitate the Irish and march uptown through the skyscrapers and overpriced tourist traps and then end the parade in a district that has little to offer the marchers once the event has concluded. The first year I can remember being unceremoniously abandoned in the middle of Central Park with no place in sight to have a drink or even use a toilet.
An innovative idea would be to start the line of march at 23rd Street and continue south and end near Greenwich Village where there are an abundance of bars, restaurants, etc.
2. The date of the Parade
Why they chose April (notorious for poor weather) for Tartan Week has something to do with an obscure Scottish declaration that few have heard of or care about here. Why Tartan Week in New York has to be tied to this occasion is a mystery and is a major factor for the poor turnout. Move the date to May or June, the best time of year in New York, and things would improve dramatically.
3. The X Factor
There seems to be too many people involved who know little about New York in the first place. How they expect to organize a proper event while sitting in Edinburgh is beyond me. It is apparent they are only familiar with the midtown/Times Square area and that mindset drives away the local bands who have no desire to deal with the extortionate parking fees, congestion and crime that are the norm in this part of town. They keep making the same miscalculations year after year and show little desire to correct them. In the meantime, the event draws fewer and fewer participants and is dying on the vine before our eyes while a worthy charitable cause raises little money because of it.
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: NYC Tartan Day

For the curious - this is the link to the pipe sets to be played - http://www.tartanweek.com/Parade_int...ssion_form.asp
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